Wondering how published authors feel about fanfiction? Read on for more insights from my guest expert!
Entering a Fake World (continued)
By Helen Armstrong
Some authors ban fanfiction being written based off their story. I can understand why – their story is their baby, their creation, they don’t want it being picked apart. However, most authors are pretty cool about it. A spokesperson at the Christopher Little agency said this of JK Rowling: "JK Rowling's reaction [about fanfiction] is that she is very flattered by the fact there is such great interest in her Harry Potter series and that people take the time to write their own stories.” Harry Potter fanfiction is huge – there are entire sites dedicated to it, like sugarquill.net. This is, of course, in addition to the 533,519 Potter fanfics on fanfiction.net.
Some fanfictions become famous in their own right. There is a fanfiction based off of the TV show Glee that takes place at Dalton Academy (the school Kurt Hummel transferred to in the second season, where he met Blaine Anderson). The cast of this fanfiction, Dalton, is made up of mainly Original Characters created by the author, CP Coulter. The characters of Glee are used occasionally, but because the story is set at a different school, it’s mainly Kurt, Blaine, and dozens of Original Characters. This story has become a kind of phenomenon in the Glee fandom. Most everyone who loves Glee has heard of or read Dalton. The story is slated to be 29 chapters, 25 of which have been written so far. And get this – those 25 chapters together are over 200,000 words, nearing 300,000. It almost seems unfair that CP Coulter doesn’t get paid to do this. One of the best parts about Dalton is the fanfiction written about it. It’s fanfiction about a fanfiction, which just goes to show the levels that fanfiction can reach.
Reading fanfiction is very fun – to see other peoples’ takes on the books is a really enjoyable experience. Sometimes it takes awhile to find one written by a person who knows the difference between the three forms of ‘there,’ but fanfiction.net allows authors to write a summary of their story. Normally one can tell the quality of the writing just from the 100-word summary.
I’d recommend fanfiction to writers and readers alike. There is fanfiction out there on everything, from the Hunger Games (6,464 on fanfiction.net) to Wuthering Heights (92). Whether reading it or writing it, fanfiction is a great way to improve your writing and enjoy a good story.